First Hong Kong tourists pass through 20-second Suvarnabhumi entry

travel September 15, 2018 14:30

By The Nation

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A group of Cathay Pacific passengers became the first group of Hong Kong people allowed to use the speedy new automated immigration process at Suvarnabhumi airport on Saturday morning.

The group arrived on the Cathay Pacific Flight CX717 at 10.50am and were allowed to use the automated channel that required each passenger to pass through the immigration process in only 20 seconds.

As part of the process, the system scans the barcode on each passenger’s passport and on the flight ticket as well as reading the passenger’s fingerprint and compared the information with the Advance Passenger Processing system (APPS).

The Hong Kong passengers had already provided all necessary immigration information when they checked in with their airline using the APPS system.

Immigration has been using automated system with Thai passengers for a while, using information from the online household registration of the Interior Ministry.

In 2017, the Cabinet instructed the Immigration Bureau to expand its use to cover foreigners to reduce queues at international airports. The bureau first used it with Singapore passport holders before expanding to those from Hong Kong.

The bureau plans to expand the use of automated immigration to other checkpoints around the country and to nationals from other regional countries in the near future.

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